Thiel Owners


I just scored a sweet pair of CS 2.4SE loudspeakers. Anyone else currently or previously owned this model?
Owners of the CS 2.4 or CS 2.7 are free to chime in as well. Thiel are excellent w/ both tubed or solid-state gear!

Keep me posted & Happy Listening!

Interesting CJ combo.  I have the CJ Premier 16 LS2.  Were you able to bring them home to try with the Thiels?

(I was just kidding about the cables  - no need to waste your time telling me what cables you tested).
As far as phono stages go, it’s sometimes possible to pick up a used Manley Chinook at the top end of, or just a bit over, the budget you mention. This is what I run and works fantastic with any speaker, including my 3.5s. It’s basically Manley’s top of the range $8500 Steelhead model without a lot of the bells and whistles. Tubes in it as well so that ticks one of your boxes. Also has very versatile settings to accommodate just about any mm/mc/mi cart.
Thosb - Since you haven't gotten a response to your Dunlavy / Thiel query, I'll throw in some observations. I have not directly compared the two brands, but I do have some experience with Dunlavy which might be relevant. In my consulting work after Thiel Audio, Dunlavy was among my contacts, where I saw first-hand how they approached the work. I would call John's approach nearly identical to Jim's, with Dunlavy having more investment in equipment, patents and broader background in the art.

The company started as Duntech in Australia where John D. worked in the high-energy antenna realm, holding multiple patents - that company had considerable government support as they piggy-backed the loudspeakers into the antenna infrastructure and contracts. They moved to Colorado Springs as a private enterprise for more direct access to the North American market, with the financial backing of John's patent attorney as partner. Their facility was enviable - including two anechoic chanbers and considerable interactive production measurement / analysis tools. Every speaker was developed and tested with multiple / near, mid and far-field mic arrays. Their crossover layouts concentrated on stray electromagnetic interactions. They were net first order, like Jim's with similar attention applied to similar methods and outcomes.

Another departure was their cabinets, which is why I was there. They allowed vibrating panels (like British monitors), incorporating those resonances into the sound sculpture, and ignoring the resulting time-domain slurring. Similarly, the square edges introduced diffraction, which seemed of little concern to them. However, I see that more recent models paid considerably more attention to those aspects which I had assessed as weaknesses.

I note in the reviews, that John Dunlavy (a rather commanding presence) pushed back very effectively against the misleading close-miked measurements by Stereophile. Thiel took a "gentleman's attitude" and rarely if ever commented publicly on the misrepresentations of such measurements.

Dunlavy aimed for higher retail prices against lower manufacturing costs than Thiel for a solid profitability, and thoroughly well executed designs. Dunlavy seemed a one-man-show on my visits, much like Thiel. The ability to carry on without the founder's focusing vision and unique talents is very difficult. There are only a few products beyond Thiel which interest me and which I recommend when asked. Dunlavy is one of them.

Wonderful post Tom!  Thanks.

I used to follow J. Dunlavy's claims and met him once at an audio show.He sure wasn't shy about his opinions :-)

Also he was one of the very few speaker designers claiming his speakers could replicate the sound of real voices and instruments, and claimed he often did these live vs reproduced tests. 
Prof - I saw his live vs recorded setup, although never witnessed a test. His large anechoic chamber had one wall that opened onto a larger space. The combined space had a pair of speakers set-up and could accommodate a chamber or jazz ensemble positioned between the non-operative speakers. He was equipped to record (at that time it was direct to DAT) which he would then play back without any one or anything moving. The set up was beyond reproach and something like what I envisioned for Thiel in my dreams, but we were never flush enough to implement. Not shy at all, but his products delivered. I only heard them there at his factory around 1995, which was first-generation early goods. I'd like to hear a pair of SC-Vs or VIs.